erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Tuesday July 21, 2009

Die, Die, Die!

For the first time since it opened on June 24, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" made less than $2 million (domestically) in one day—when it grossed $1.7 million yesterday, down 42% from the previous Monday. I know. Cold comfort. But so far it's the only comfort I've found.

Posted at 08:56 PM on Jul 21, 2009 in category Movies - Box Office
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Saturday July 18, 2009

Quick Movie Quiz

Question: Three 2009 films are already among the top 100 films in terms of all-time worldwide box office (unadjusted). Name them. I'll leave the answer tomorrow in the "Read More" field.

» Read More

Posted at 09:33 AM on Jul 18, 2009 in category Movies - Box Office
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Tuesday July 07, 2009

Revenge on "Revenge of the Fallen"

Here's the plan. We find every 14-year-old that's propeling "Transformers 2" toward the $400 million mark in the U.S., and possibly the $1 billion mark globally, and in 30 years force them to watch it again. Plus the original. Plus all sequels. Plus the '80s series. Back to back to back to back. As a way of saying thanks.

The movie's box office has fallen off, certainly, but not preciptiously liked I'd hoped. I had my fingers crossed for "Gigli" numbers (-81% during its second weekend) or at least "Wolverine" numbers (-69%), but "Transformers" only fell off by "Terminator: Salvation" numbers: -61%.

I'm hoping for better next weekend. Stop the stupidity. While we can.

Posted at 04:24 PM on Jul 07, 2009 in category Movies - Box Office
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Friday June 26, 2009

Why We're Getting 10 Best Picture Nominees

 The Annual Box Office Rankings for Best Picture Nominees, 1991-2008*

Year
BPN BO rank
BPN BO rank
BPN BO rank
BPN BO rank
BPN BO rank
2008
 1620
82 89
120
 2007 153650
55
66
 2006 15 5157
92
138
 2005 22 49
62
88
95
 2004 22 2437
40
61
 2003 1 1731
33
67
 2002 2 103556
80
 2001 21143
59
68
 2000 412
13
15
32
 1999 2 1213
41
69
 1998 1 18 3559
65
 1997 1  67
24
44
 1996 4 1941
67
108
 1995 3 18 2839
77
 1994 1 1021
51
56
 1993 3 9
38
61 66
 1992 511
19
20
48
 1991 3 4
16
17
25

* Best picture winner represented in red.

Want one more?

Year
BPN BO rank
BPN BO rank
BPN BO rank
BPN BO rank
BPN BO rank
1970
1
2
3
4
11

*ditto

The problem isn't the number of nominees. The problem is the disconnect between studios, distributors, audience and the Academy. We don't make best pictures anymore. And if we do make them we don't distribute them. And if we do distribute them we don't go see them. And if all three happen, but the movie happens to be a cartoon or a superhero film, the Academy can't be bothered.

I'll say it again. The Academy is fixing something that ain't broken (the tradition of five nominees) because of something that is hugely broken. All of the above.

BTW: I charted the above for the drastic change that took place in 2004, but I never noticed —until I created this graph — how the best picture winner is almost always (eventually) the no. 1 or 2 box office hit among the five nominees. That's good to know. Or at least it was in the era of five nominees. Now it's useless knowledge.

Posted at 11:08 PM on Jun 26, 2009 in category Movies - Box Office, Movies - The Oscars
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Tuesday June 23, 2009

The $67 Million Advantage

By the way, and related to yesterday’s post: If you take all 243 films that were released superwide (into 3,000 or more theaters) from 2004 to 2008, and divide them by Rotten Tomatoes' ranking (“fresh” meaning 60 percent or better from top critics, “rotten” 59 percent or worse), and total and then average the box office for each category, this is what you get:

All Superwide Releases, 2004-2008

Type
No. of films
Total B.O.
B.O. Per Film
"Fresh" films
76
$12,064,252,567
$158,740,165
"Rotten" films
167
$15,321,793,613
$91,747,267

That's a $67 million advantage.

Are there extenuating circumstances? No doubt. "Fresh" superwide releases are more likely to open during the prime real-estate months of May, June, July, November and December—by a 66% to 47% ratio. Their marketing budgets may be bigger, too, but of course I have no data on that. (Does anyone?)

Most importantly, "fresh" films open, on average, in 231 more theaters than “rotten” films.

But even if you take away this advantage—by dividing the average box-office take by the average opening theater count—the “fresh” films are still much, much more lucrative:

All Superwide Releases, 2004-2008, by Theater Count

Type
No. of films
Avg. B.O. 
Avg. Thtrs.
Avg.
"Fresh" films
76
$158,740,165
 3,581  $44,331
"Rotten films
167
$91,747,267
 3,350 $27,385
 
It’s even more stark on the extremes—the superwide releases that garnered 90 percent or better from top critics vs. the superwide releases that garnered 9 percent or worse:
 
Best and Worst Superwide Releases, 2004-2008
 
RT Critic Rating
No. of films
Total B.O.
B.O. Per Film
 90-100%
 13 $2,996,670,616
  $230,513,124
 0-9% 25 $1,493,738,755
  $59,749,55

If you build it well, we will come.

Posted at 09:09 AM on Jun 23, 2009 in category Movies - Box Office
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